Kaushik Basu

Ending America’s World Bank monopoly

NEW YORK –The nomination earlier this month of David Malpass, a senior US Treasury Department official, for the post of World Bank president came as something of a relief. Malpass is, after all, the choice of US President Donald Trump, who is known for backing extreme and unqualified job...

Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 12:00 AM

The sorry state of the world economy

NEW YORK – January is traditionally a time for assessing the developments of the previous year, in order to anticipate what the new one has in store. Unfortunately, even though we may be at a turning point for the better politically, the data that have emerged in the last month do not paint a...

Friday, February 1, 2019, 12:00 AM

A thimbleful of optimism for 2019

KOLKATA – At the end of this year of political trauma and conflict, I found myself feeling an unexpected sense of hope, sitting in Mumbai, where I could see the Arabian Sea stretching westward toward the Gulf of Aden and Africa, as well as the vast Indian subcontinent extending eastward to...

Wednesday, January 2, 2019, 12:11 AM

Pollution by the numbers

MEXICO CITY – The Great Chinese Famine, which peaked in 1960, was the world’s largest on record. But the effects of that famine – including its toll of more than 30 million deaths – were not quantified until long after the fact. That was partly because government officials...

Wednesday, November 28, 2018, 8:14 PM

Why is democracy faltering?

NEW YORK – Jair Bolsonaro, the frontrunner for the Brazilian presidency, is a far-right, gun-loving, media-baiting hyper-nationalist. The fact that he would be right at home among many of today’s global leaders – including the leaders of some of the world’s major democracies...

Thursday, October 25, 2018, 9:19 PM

Profit sharing now

NEW YORK – At the British Labour Party’s annual conference in Liverpool this month, the shadow chancellor of the exchequer, John McDonnell, proposed a profit-sharing scheme that would grant workers equity in the firms where they are employed. McDonnell raised this idea in what was...

Monday, October 1, 2018, 12:09 AM

The ethics of reducing inequality

NEW YORK – Around the world, the effects of alarmingly high economic inequality are spilling over into politics and society. Economic insecurity is a driving force behind violent conflicts in the Middle East and the rise of fascist elements in some European countries, not least Hungary and...

Saturday, March 31, 2018, 1:34 AM